My friends and I prepared a baby shower this summer. Planning the event involved a lot of frantic Facebook messaging and late-night Google Doc editing, as well as coming up with creative game ideas, such as “Pin the Sperm on the Egg.” We also spent a decent amount of time shopping for baby-related things, which led us to several gender-stereotypical items. Encountering these signals from society made me realize that gender roles really do start from within the womb – or at least they begin early enough to affect children from the beginning of their existences.
Tag Archives: gender roles
It’s not every day you see a video about parents who purge the identities of their children.
When I was a child, I wanted to dye my hair blond.
I wanted, like every child, to explore the possibilities of my person – whether it be my physical or my mental characteristics. I doubt that there’s a single person out there who can honestly say they did not try something new as a child, that they did not crave for change or something exciting. Childhood, in essence, is about discovering the depths of your world, and who and what inhabits it.
I remember telling all of my friends in my fifth grade class that I was going to dye my hair blond. When I got home that day, I looked up at my father, eyes wide, and exclaimed my wish. He looked at me, amused, and told me we would have to ask my mother.
Of course, she shot it down immediately. Continue reading
My favorite animal is the flamingo. Lady Gaga, SNSD, and f(x) are among the top 10 most-listened to artists on my IPod. I cried watching Titanic and love reading chick-lit from authors like Jodi Picoult and Sarah Dessen.
Am I a bad person? A risk to society? Do I hurt people or cause mayhem wherever I go? Unless my rendition of “Poker Face” really is that bad, then no, I don’t think so. Here’s a story:
The other day I was eating the cupcakes my best friend and I baked at her house. My mom approached me with an angry look on her face.
“What are those?” she asked.
“Cupcakes,” I mumbled through a mouthful of frosting.
“Where did you get them?” she inquired.
“I made them at Sarah’s house,” I said. Big mistake.
“What?” she said, her voice rising,” why? Why weren’t you studying or doing something important?”
“We were just having fun,” I said. I knew she would explode soon.
“Thomas, you’re a BOY,” she exclaimed,” boys don’t waste their time doing stupid things like that! Do you want to get into college? What will people think of you if they find out you bake cupcakes like a little girl? What if they think you’re gay?”
Her angry mood escalated and it only got worse from there. End of story.
Besides the fact that my mom insulted herself through her blatant sexism, what she said made me sad. I admit it. This doesn’t even come close to the time she asked me if I needed to see a doctor because I gesticulated like a girl (this was when I was ten or eleven… now I’m careful with my body language around her), but still. It hurt.
I’m sensitive, but I’m not stupid. Boys should be allowed to knit sweaters, practice yoga, and even cross-dress if they want. Heck, they can gather plants and herbs like women did during the Paleolithic Era for all I care. It’s not like we’re going to cause an apocalypse by not conforming to faulty gender roles forced upon us by society.
When I first thought of writing this post a couple of days ago I didn’t intend it to be this emotional, but after reading this, I couldn’t stop myself. What kind of cruel parent condemns their child for being who they are? I would rather just not have children than make them suffer in such a horrible way.
Instead of answering “Is it okay for boys to be feminine?”, let me raise another question.
Is it okay for people to be themselves?